WSBK: Round #2 Pata Honda Superpole Report - MotorLand Aragon

Johnathan Rea race action shot

Pata Honda Media Press Release:

Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two second-round World Superbike championship races from the second row of the grid after setting the fifth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

The 27-year-old British rider topped all but one of the four free practice sessions of the weekend on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, but was unable to maximize the additional grip of his Pirelli qualifying tire on its one available flying Superpole lap of the 5.344km Aragon circuit.

Pole position went to another British rider, Tom Sykes, with his team-mate Loris Baz and Sylvain Guintoli completing the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s two 17-lap races, which go off at 10.30 and 13.10 local time.

Rea's Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, made positive strides forward with the set-up on his own CBR machine in today's two free practice sessions, but crashed early in Superpole, leaving him with a 12th place starting position on the grid.

Johnathan Rea race action shot

Jonathan Rea #65:

P5, 1m56.972s

I’m honestly quite happy as this is the fastest I’ve ever been around Aragon and we’ve made such a big step since last year. It was quite a perfect lap from me but we just didn’t have the out-and-out speed with a qualifier in. While I’m satisfied with my lap time, I’m not with my position. Looking at the track condition this morning, I expected a 56s would be good for front row, but the pace is quite fast. We worked a lot on our option tires this morning and checked them again this afternoon. We’re still not seeing the high temperatures that we’d need to run the really soft tire so tomorrow’s going to be a big tire decision. Whether the sun comes out and heats the track or not, I’m quite satisfied with the set-up we’ve got. We need to work a little mo re on engine braking tonight, but I just need to make a really good start from row two and try to go with the guys in front of me on the grid.

Leon Haslam race action shot

Leon Haslam #91

P12, 1m58.376s

The last three crashes I’ve had have spun the bike from under me on fast, third or fourth-gear corners, which is kind of frustrating. We started off on the back foot here but we’ve made progress every session and the bike felt pretty good this afternoon. I was on target for a 57s lap on a race tyre, which is in the ball park, but I’m lucky the bike didn’t high-side me like it could’ve done. But this is something we definitely need to look into and solve for the future. My race pace is quite good, although tire life is an issue for the cooler conditions, so we’ll re-assess that in morning warm-up and decide which tire to go with. As far as the chassis is concerned, and the progressions we made electronically before the crash, I’m quite happy.

Pieter Breddels  - Technical Co-Ordinator:

We can be quite pleased with Jonathan’s fifth place and his performances during the free practice sessions. His race pace looks quite strong and should give him the potential to fight for the podium, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Leon has been looking good all day after making some good steps forward, and he was fourth in the final session before Superpole. Unfortunately, he crashed and we’ll have to analyze the data in more detail to see exactly why. We’ll help him to re-discover his confidence in warm-up tomorrow and hope that he can have a good couple of races.

Qualifying Results - Results:

1. Tom Sykes    1m56.479s    GBR    KAWASAKI    Kawasaki Racing Team

2. Loris Baz    1m56.675s    FRA    KAWASAKI    Kawasaki Racing Team

3. Sylvain Guintoli    1m56.769s    FRA    APRILIA    Aprilia Racing Team

4. Davide Guigliano    1m56.825    ITA    DUCATI    Ducati Superbike Team

5. Jonathan Rea    1m56.972s    GBR    HONDA    Pata Honda

6. Chaz Davies    1m56.977s    GBR    DUCATI    Ducati Superbike Team

7. Marco Melandri    1m57.063s    ITA    APRILIA    Aprilia Racing Team

8. Eugene Laverty    1m57.736s    IRL    SUZUKI    Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

9. Alex Lowes    1m57.975s    GBR    SUZUKI    Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

10. Toni Elias    1m58.180s    ESP    APRILIA    Red Devils Roma

11. Leon Camier    1m59.326s    GBR    BMW    BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team

12. Leon Haslam    1m58.376s    GBR    HONDA    Pata Honda

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